When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, businesses around the country saw drastic profit losses, and many were struggling to keep their businesses afloat.
As closures spiked and employees waned, effective communication quickly became essential - and that's where we came in. Because our business was created with emergencies and urgent messages in mind, we saw record highs while other companies saw record lows.
And it didn't feel as good as you might think.
Our profits increased, and we swiftly pivoted to learn how to deal with massive volumes. We became a source of stability for our employees and their families in a time of unprecedented uncertainty. Still, every time we looked out our windows, we saw our community struggling to get by.
It wasn't long before we had an idea: What if we could share our profits with those who need it most in our community and beyond?
Then it got exciting. We quickly identified four local organizations we had previously worked with: a food bank, a shelter for women affected by domestic violence, a resource center for seniors, and a social services organization. We allocated $1,000 to each employee and allowed them to distribute their donations across our chosen areas of interest however they saw fit. We donated $35,000.
Initially, we thought that it would be a one-time thing. But the team loved it so much that we decided to do it the next quarter…and the next quarter…and the next quarter! Since we were in a profitable position and were financially able, it was too beneficial to the community to stop donating. We decided to turn $1,000 charity allocations into an official employee benefit, and the rest is history.
Our employees love our charitable donations, as it allows them to allocate their donations to organizations, they feel passionate about and positively impact the community. As an employee myself, I feel like our quarterly donations reflect our goal to positively impact the world. We dive into researching the organizations we're giving to and do the work to ensure our donation counts. It's not absent-minded giving; it's thoughtful and reflects our organization's values.
Our Charitable Contributions Committee
When the war in Ukraine started in early 2022, many employees wanted to do something to help the people of Ukraine, and we quickly realized that we needed a committee. The committee was formed that day, and they work tirelessly to ensure that we give to causes that are important to us and are also stable for the charities we give to regularly. Some of our charities count on our contribution, so we don't want to let them down.
The committee has spent the last few months deciding on our quarterly contribution benefit guidelines to ensure we use our allocated funds to the best of our ability.
These guidelines include:
- Every quarter, all employees and interns have the opportunity to allocate $1,000 across five local organizations however they would like.
- The Quarterly Contributions team will send out the Charity Allocations document quarterly for employees to allocate their funds. If someone does not fill out their portion of the document, their $1,000 automatically gets distributed evenly.
- The team will provide updates and organization descriptions when the document goes out.
- The team will document each organization's Charity Navigator stats, updates, and potential volunteer opportunities each quarter.
- At the end of each year, there will be a review of all the organizations and donations to:
- Share our impact with the company over the year (money donated to each organization, supplies purchased with our donations, hours volunteered, etc.)
- Review the organizations to decide if they should stay on our list (there should be five organizations available at any given time)
The committee also developed best practices, so our employees can get the most out of our Quarterly Charitable Contributions.
These best practices include:
- Throughout the year, updates and volunteer opportunities should be shared by the quarterly contributions team or anyone who has updates
- Remember that donating our time to organizations that are not on the Charity Allocation List is also worth sharing and bringing up
- Remind employees regularly of each organization's mission to keep everyone engaged.
- Before the annual organization review, reach out to the organizations for information such as:
- How have we made an impact? We want to share what our donations have done/gone towards with our company.
- Are there other ways we can be helpful, like donating our time?
- It's also a good idea to check Charity Navigator stats to compare YOY
The committee also helps employees achieve charitable goals through other avenues such as time and volunteering.
In the summer of 2022, Text-Em-All employees were looking for ways to give to the terrible mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. During our research, we learned there is a national blood shortage and had the idea to help our community in a different way. We quickly decided that a blood drive was the best way we could contribute to the cause, and in response, the committee was able to organize a company-wide blood drive where we donated 26 pints of blood through Carter BloodCare.
There will always be underserved members of our community, and we're so glad we have a unique opportunity to make a consistent, positive impact among them. We plan to keep our Quarterly Contributions as a permanent part of our culture, and seeing the impact we make on our community will never get old.
As we plan for a future of giving back, we know we must keep our values at the forefront and focus on giving our time and efforts in addition to our contributions. If we can keep Compassion as our motivation and Authenticity in our actions, our community and employees will always benefit from our Quarterly Contributions.
As of July 2022, we've donated $343,000, and we can't wait to see that number grow throughout the years!
Kaitlyn Orred is the Digital Marketing Specialist at Text-Em-All, a mass texting and automated calling company that provides solutions for small and medium sized businesses, large corporations, membership organizations, community groups, and individuals. She has 7 years of experience in content creation, and you can catch her practicing yoga, curling up with a great book, or hiking with her Mini Aussie, Koda.